The UFC has parted ways with three notable fighters over the past week.
The UFC roster of athletes is ever-changing. Fighters come and fighters go. When a fighter is signed to the promotion either through The Contender Series or The Ultimate Fighter series, it is often a big to-do. When a fighter is released, however, it can sometimes go unnoticed. Recently the removal of fan-favorite fighters has been getting much more recognition thanks in part to a Twitter account called UFC Roster Watch. This account keeps tabs on which fighters are added and taken from the UFC rankings pool. This week alone, a few notable athletes were removed.
Aleksei Oleinik, Randy Costa, and Yamato Nishikawa have all been let go from or have fought out their UFC contracts.
Aleksei Oleinik is a longtime veteran of the sport. He began fighting professionally in MMA back in 1996. Before coming to the UFC, Oleinik fought in several different organizations including Bellator and M-1. He came to the UFC in 2014 and was immediately thrust into the heavyweight division. During his career, he has faced the likes of Travis Browne, Curtis Blaydes, Alistair Overeem, and more. He holds wins over Mirko Cro Cop, Fabrício Werdum, and Mark Hunt. Oleinik did not fare so well as of late. He has only won one fight in his last five and at 45 years old has been let go.
Randy Costa came to the UFC in 2019 after a perfect 4-0 start to his professional career in Cage Titans. He made his debut at UFC 236 but lost. With only two wins in the organization and now three losses in a row, it was time for the UFC to bid farewell to the young bantamweight. Costa has talent and will most likely shine elsewhere. With a few wins under his belt, he could very well find himself back in the mix at 135 pounds.
Yamato Nishikawa was signed to the promotion to face Magomed Mustafaev at UFC 280 taking place this Saturday in Abu Dhabi. However, the bout was canceled, and with a contract dispute going on, per Low Kick MMA, he has been released. Nishikawa has a 21-3-6 record and has won ten in a row in Shooto. He is a great talent and perhaps can be brought in another time when the contact is right.